Toshiba Satellite U845W Breaks Ultrabook Mold with Ultra-Wide 21:9 Screen

The big-screen experience is coming to a laptop near you: Among the three Ultrabooks Toshiba has just announced is the Satellite U845W, which has an ultra-wide 14.4-inch display that's tailor-made for watching movies on the go and enhanced multitasking. Don't have a grand to spend? The non wide-screen version starts at just $699, the lowest price we've seen for an Ultrabook yet. Here's a rundown of the three new models.

Satellite U845W

The Satellite U845W (pictured above) has a 14.4-inch glossy display with a unique 21 x 9  aspect ratio and resolution of 1792 x 768, ideally suited for watching widescreen movies. The 2.35-1 aspect ratio is the same as many films shot today, so that the black bars above and below the image that plague most widescreen notebooks are no longer there. Instead, the image fills the screen completely, and, with a rated brightness of 300 nits, this panel should be great for curling up with a bag of popcorn. On either side of the keyboard are harman/kardon speakers, so it should sound as good as it looks.

Business travelers might also like this screen, too, as its lower profile means you can still use it comfortably on an airplane even if the seat in front of you is tilted back. And, a Toshiba split-screen utility will snap windows to either side of the screen. It's similar to what Windows 7 offers, but the zone sizes are more customizable.

Like the U845, the U845W will also have a rubberized panel on the lid, as well as the underside, and will come with an aluminum chassis and backlit keyboard. The starting $999 configuration will have an Intel Ivy Bridge processor, a 500GB hard drive with a 32GB SSD cache, and Intel HD 4000 graphics.  The U845W will weigh just under 4 pounds, and get about 8 hours of battery life. 

Satellite U845

Targeting the everyday consumer, the Satellite U845 ultrabook will have a 14-inch glossy display with a standard resolution of 1366 x 768. Like the U845W, it has an aluminum chassis with a rubberized bottom, palmrest, and top section of the lid. The keyboard will be backlit, and the clickpad is made by Synaptics. This system will start at $699; at that price, consumers will get a 500GB hard drive with a 32GB SSD cache, and an Intel Core i5 Ivy Bridge processor. 

Portégé Z935

Essentially an update of the Portégé Z835--which is a good thing--the Z935 will have Intel Ivy Bridge processors and chipsets. This notebook weighs about 2.4 pounds, and measures from 0.3 to 0.6 inches thick. Expect it to get around 7 hours of battery life, and start at $899. 

LAPTOP Reviews Editor